The Village of Riverhurst and Riverhurst Communities in Bloom will be holding the grand opening of its wetland project.
The project has been a long time coming for the community. Work began in 2019, with more than 500 trees being planted and work to maintain water levels while having adequate drainage to avoid flooding.
Along with donations from the Village of Riverhurst, Ducks Unlimited, funding from Environment and Climate Change Canada and countless volunteer hours, the vision of restoring the wetlands have become a reality.
“It's been a tremendous amount of work, just hundreds and hundreds of volunteer hours to get where we are. But what we have now is a beautiful site. It has easily accessible walking paths with educational signage along the way,” said project volunteer Rhae Ann Bromley with Riverhurst Communities in Bloom.
The project also received the Saskatchewan Municipality Award from the Saskatchewan Urban Municipality Association and the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities.
Bromley said the restoration of the wetlands brings it back to a health, functioning ecosystem that helps protect against drought and flooding, assists in carbon capture and is home to wildlife.
“We have at least 20 species of birds nesting in the wetland already this year, that's in the first year that it's been redeveloped, and we've planted close to 700 new trees. So, in the next few years, it'll really, really become a beautiful spot,” Bromley said.
The grand opening ceremony gets underway starting at 11 a.m. at the Wetland viewing platform. The Riverhurst Wetland can be found at the entrance to the Village of Riverhurst, on Highway 42 east of the Lake Diefenbaker ferry crossing.
There will be a number of guest speakers including provincial Environment Minister Dana Skoropod. Following the speeches, there will be both guided and self-guided tours.
The grand opening is happening at the same time as the Riverhurst Bean Festival, so visitors are encouraged to head into town afterwards to take in the festivities.